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News - 14th September 2022
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Introducing: parkwalk at parkrun!

Two parkrunners are walking in a park on a path. One woman has her hands in the air and is smiling.

This October marks 18 years since parkrun’s founder, Paul Sinton-Hewitt, shouted “Go!” at the very first parkrun event. We’d like to make this 18th anniversary one to remember by dedicating the whole month of October to something extra special…

 

parkwalk at parkrun!

 

Paul’s vision was that parkrun would be open to everyone, no matter who they are or where they came from. Whether people volunteer, walk, jog or run they are welcomed with open arms. That vision is very much alive and kicking, running… and walking!

 

Nearly 900,000 different people have walked at parkrun, with more than 13,000 people walking every single week.

 

There is no time limit at parkrun, and thousands of people take over an hour to complete the event.

 

Two parkrunners have their arms around each other in a park, smiling at the camera.

 

In South Africa, almost 30% of those completing a parkrun each week are walkers, the highest figure of all the parkrun countries.

 

Walking is a great way of soaking up the parkrun atmosphere, getting the opportunity to chat to people, being active and is something that whole families or friendship groups can do together. It’s also one of the best entry points into parkrun, especially for those who may be taking their first steps towards healthier and happier lifestyles.

 

You can walk at any pace, alone or with others. You could bring a dog or a buggy and even use walking poles if you have them.

 

Walking can help you manage or prevent health conditions, enhance your mood, boost fitness and bring you into contact with some amazing places and people.

 

A lady in South Africa is walking and smiling, looking down at the ground. She is wearing black activewear and a black cap.

 

Through the parkwalk at parkun campaign we would like to encourage more people to experience the joy and incredible benefits of walking at parkrun. Not just in October, but always.

 

“Having now experienced being a walker at parkrun, I realise I am just as much part of the parkrun community as I would be if I was breaking records at the front. I know I am walking my best walk.” 

 

Two parkrunners are walking with their thumbs up and smiling. There is a large field area in the background.

 

Walking really is for everyone. 

 

At parkrun, we actively support as many people as possible to walk and we have dedicated volunteers who do just that. Every parkrun event across the world has at least one volunteer tail walker, who is the person or people at the back who always finish last. So far, a phenomenal 175,771 different people have been a tail walker at parkrun. You can find out more about this role in this video.

 

So why not think about walking at a parkrun now, in October or at some point in the future? You could also encourage lots of friends, family and work colleagues to join you and even create a walking and talking group. Or maybe you could choose to volunteer as a tail walker (or any of the other volunteer roles!).

 

Perhaps you’re a healthcare professional and could suggest that your patients take part, or maybe you’re a teacher and want an opportunity for your students to be more active? Or you might work for a company and want to encourage your colleagues to be active, together? parkwalking offers the opportunity to do just that.

 

Two tail walkers are wearing the orange hi vis, walking in a park with their thumbs up and smiling. One man is holding some orange cones.

 

“There is a great sense of belonging and community at parkrun. Nobody cares what time you do and it is great to not have your disability be the main focus of the event. parkrun really is for anyone who wants to do it and I would encourage anyone to give it a go.” 

 

Whether you are an individual or an organisation, shouting from the rooftops about parkwalk at parkrun will also help us get the message out far and wide.

 

You can share your stories, pictures and videos with us via this link, we’d love to feature your feedback.

 

We can’t wait to parkwalk at parkun with you in October and beyond!

 

If you’ve got any further questions about parkwalk, please read our frequently asked questions here.

 

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A close up image of the back of a man's parkwalker volunteer vest. It is blue and reads 'parkwalker'.

parkwalker role explained

As part of the parkwalk campaign this October, we are introducing a brand new volunteer role – the parkwalker!   It has been created to demonstrate that walking at parkrun is both encouraged and valued.   Why “parkwalker”?   Inclusivity and participation, rather than speed, has been a key principle of parkrun since day one….

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